Laura Joh Rowland is a detective/mystery author best known for her series of historical mystery novels set in the late days of feudalJapan, mostly in Edo during the late 17th century. Her main protagonist is Sano Ichirō (佐野 一郎?).
Ms. Rowland is the daughter of Chinese and Korean immigrants. She grew up in Michigan and was educated at the University of Michigan, where she graduated with a B.S. in Microbiology and a Masters in Public Health. She lived through a natural disaster in 2005 when Hurricane Katarina nearly destroyed her house in New Orleans, and now lives in New York City.
The novels deal with the experiences of Sano Ichiro, a samurai and minor official who, by the end of the first novel, became the trusted chief investigator for the fifth TokugawaShogun, Tokugawa Tsunayoshi, and by the tenth novel, was promoted to a very high office.
Throughout the stories, Sano constantly had to deal with his problems following the code of bushido while serving both justice and his master, the Shogun; and with his wife, Ueda Reiko (上田 麗子?), who frequently involves herself in Sano's investigations. Sano experiences great pressure as he is faced with death if he doesn't fulfill his obligations to the Shogun as well.
It is not known if it is coincidental or intentional on the part of the author that the protagonist's name Sano Ichiro could be interpreted as a homage to one of Japan's most famous deductive fiction writers, Murayama Ichiro(丸山 一郎?), born in 1928, who uses the pen-name of Sano Yo (佐野洋.)
The title of the first novel is the Romanised form of the term written in kanji as 心中, pronounced as Shinjū, which refers to a suicide pact by a pair of lovers.
The title of the second novel is the Romanised form of the term written in katakana as ブンドリ (bu-n-do-ri), which means "Seizing the soil of the vanquished.", or simply spoils of war or war trophy.
The Secret Adventures of Charlotte Brontë (Overlook Press)
Bedlam: The Further Secret Adventures of Charlotte Brontë (Overlook Press)
^Sleeve note of the audiobook version of "The Incense Game" publish by Dreamscape Media in 2012 ISBN 978-1-62406-004-5